Top Reasons to Go

Natural Beauty: It may not have the sheer variety of Thailand, but Laos is a beautiful country. Take a multiday trek or bike ride, or enjoy the fantastic mountain scenery from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng. The far north from Luang Nam Tha to Phongsaly offers the best trekking and nature options.

Archaeological Wonders: The country's most unusual attraction is the Plain of Jars, which has 5-ton stone-and-clay jars of mysterious origin. Wat Phu, pre-Angkor Khmer ruins, is Laos's most recent UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Buddhist Customs: Observing or participating in morning alms in Luang Prabang is a magical experience; so, too, is sitting in a temple to chat with a novice monk, surrounded by the sounds of chanting and chiming bells.

The Mekong: The Mekong River is the lifeline of Laos. You can travel down the mighty tributary on a slow cruise, or stop at one of 4,000 islands for a chance to spot freshwater dolphins.

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